Tag Archives: vegan

Saturday, you’re looking mighty fine

What a lovely, but rainy day in Boston!
We started our day with a great workout for me, and some sleeping in for my brother (13+ hours, I’m impressed!) and then headed to brunch at Allston Diner. I swear I ate the most amazing tofu scramble of my life there! It was life-changing and I’ve been raving about it all day to my brother so I have to talk about it here.

20140329-223506.jpg
Vegan breakfast with tofu scramble (mushrooms, spinach and sundried tomatoes), side salad with herb vinaigrette and toasted English muffin. SO GOOD.

Then we headed over the Harvard Square to walk around, get some delicious tea and…….. Get tattoos!
It was pretty spur-of-the-moment, but we both saw the tattoo parlor shop and knew we wanted to get something special for ourselves and to commemorate this time we were spending together here. I am so pleased with how mine turned out, and I think my bro is happy with his too. πŸ™‚

Then we headed out to dinner and a recital with some of my friends. And in the falling rain we headed home with a little pit stop for more Indian food for the bodybuilder in residence. πŸ˜‰ Having my brother here to hang out with me has been a really great experience and I am so happy he was willing and able to come out to stay with me.

Here’s to another fun day tomorrow!

Love,
Happiness Starts Here

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , ,

Siblings reunite!

Happy Friday!

This morning started early, but for a great reason! My brother flew in from California to visit me for the weekend and I couldn’t be happier. πŸ™‚

So far, we’ve hit the gym (obviously a must when we are together), eaten at Root and later had delicious Indian takeout for dinner, stopped by BU so I could get a coaching in, and visited around the Prudential Center. I would’ve liked to do more outside but this weather isn’t being very cooperative, and the forecast is announcing rain all weekend… Not to mention he hasn’t slept since Wednesday night because he took the red-eye out of Cali! But I’m just happy he’s here to hang out with me and let me take him around to all my favorite Boston spots.

The rest of our weekend involves plans to go to the wharf, dinner and a recital with some of my friends, birthday drinks, and any other shenanigans we get up to. πŸ˜‰

Have a great weekend!

Love,
Happiness Starts Here

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

True Bistro (love)

The cloudy weather today has for perfectly for my day of homework, music studying and cleaning up my room. I managed to get a great workout in at the gym- even though I almost face-planted into a weight machine after I tripped over a 45-pound plate and yelped so loudly I got stares! The bruise on my shin is just a sign of how tough I am right?

Last night I had the most fun date, complete with on-point dirty martinis and literally the best vegan food I have ever eaten. Actually, some of the best food period! We went to True Bistro in Somerville, and despite not taking reservations the food more than made up for it. Not the mention the service was incredible, I think my water glass was refilled 12 times.
We ordered the crispy oyster mushrooms to start, then split the blackened seitan with collards and grits as well as a phyllo purse stuffed with sweet potato, seitan and what must have been a cinnamon sauce! It was so flavorful and incredible. We finished off the meal with an apple cobbler topped with walnut-rum ice cream and of course enjoyed a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon on the side. I couldn’t believe that every single thing on the menu was vegan and it was so exciting to be able to choose anything I wanted without having to make annoying requests like no cheese, no butter, um is there honey in that? Even my date, who is absolutely not vegan, was extremely pleased with all the food and couldn’t get over the grits. πŸ™‚

TB just became one of my favorite restaurants in Boston, and it was perfect for a date. Cozy but still a lively environment, and the company was fantastic too. I can’t wait to go back and try everything else on the menu!!

I hope you had a great weekend full of delicious food and even better company!

Love,
Happiness Starts Here

Tagged , , , ,

Vegan Apple-Oat Bread

Happy Saturday!

It’s been a wonderful couple days back home and I’m totally taking advantage of the relaxation time. We’ve already gone out to dinner with friends, seen Non-Stop (the thriller with Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore- it was really intense and intriguing!) and I even managed to do some baking.

20140308-211040.jpg

I whipped up a Vegan Apple Oat Bread this afternoon with 3 kinds of apple and I think it turned out really well! I’m already looking forward to enjoying some for breakfast tomorrow morning with almond butter. Anyone else go to sleep thinking about what you’ll eat when you wake up? Breakfast is my favorite meal so naturally, it’s on my mind ALL the time.

Apple-Oat Bread
Adapted from Choosing Raw
12 small or 8 bigger slices

1 1/4 cup oat bran
1 cup white flour
1 tsp baking soda/powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup almond milk + 2-3 tbsp
1/2 cup applesauce
2 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 1/3 cup water and allowed to β€œgel”
1 chopped small apple (peeled + cored)
1/2 cup chopped dried apples
1/4 cup scant rolled oats

1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan.

2) Mix the chia seeds and 1/3 cup water together and set aside.

3) Mix the oat bran, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.

4) Whisk together almond milk, applesauce, chia mixture, and oil. Add to the dry ingredients, mix roughly, and then add chopped and dried apple. Stir to combine.

5) Pour dough into loaf pan, sprinkle with oats, and bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean.

If you decide to give it a try, let me know! I am definitely feeling the jet lag tonight though, what with being up at 5am ever since I’ve been in California, and the long (though fun) days I’ve had. I really need to catch up on my beauty rest tonight! I’m hoping the time change will work in my favor and encourage my body to stay in bed a bit longer.

Love,
Happiness Starts Here

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Not perfect

Tomorrow I am finally heading back to California! It’s been a pretty good week filled with productivity and I am really looking forward to being home for a while to just take it easy, enjoy my parents, and cook some really delicious vegan meals for them!
I’m also crossing my fingers that my best friend will make a short trip up to San Francisco for a couple days while I’m home, so we have a chance to see each other and catch up. The situation would really be perfect because then I’d get to see her for a weekend as well as see my brother at the end of March when he comes to visit me in Boston!

On a more serious note, sometimes I feel like I really over analyze things; like something I heard my room mate say, or a few words I said in passing that could have been misinterpreted by the listener. As frustrating and bothersome as those things can be, I really just end up creating an even bigger headache for myself by fixating on something I overheard and very likely took to mean something much worse than it actually did. I like to think of myself as having a pretty thick skin, but maybe after years of beating myself up about my own flaws, I’ve become too critical of myself. Perhaps I’m not the best room mate in the world and I don’t like taking out the trash, maybe I care a little too much what certain people think of me, and maybe I’m a little too worried about my future. Those are all things that make up who I am, but they don’t make me a horrible person, and they just make me uniquely me.

What are you taking ownership of today?
I might not be perfect, but at least I’m trying to do what’s right for me and what makes me happy!

Love,
Happiness Starts Here

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Happy Sunday!

This is an open letter to any and everyone who may have questions regarding what I’m about to talk about. I hope you’ll read along with an open mind, and feel free to share any of your own past experiences, or thoughts that might come up for you while reading. So let’s get started!

I have given this a lot of thought and after several years of on and off vegetarianism, about a month ago I mentioned I had watched Vegucated, a documentary about vegans. Watching it, I was struck with just how serious the problems with animal raising, farming, and slaughterhouses are today. I felt compelled to make a change but I wasn’t sure if I could really commit to becoming a vegan.

Over the next few weeks, I made an effort to choose plant-based foods and move away from all non-vegan foods, such as honey and eggs. Luckily enough for me, I had already removed dairy in the forms of cheese, milk, and yogurt from my diet because I don’t digest them well and they make me break out. The more I became aware of what foods were and were not vegan, the more I knew I could make the final step and really become a vegan.

This afternoon, I finally watched Earthlings and I am now more certain than ever that I can not go back to eating animal products. The more I learned, the more apparent it became that the industry that manufactures these animal products treats the animals themselves as if they were already products, and not with any of the “humane” or “free-range” regulations that are supposedly upheld. One of the biggest eye-openers was seeing the largest Kosher cattle factory slaughtering cows using electrical prods, and ripping their trachii and throats out, while they were still alive…. All things that are NEVER supposed to be done in the kosher production of meat.

I will continue to research and learn more about veganism as I am beginning my journey into being a full-fledged vegan, but the wealth of information available both on the Internet and in books has increased so much in the past 10 years, I consider myself incredibly lucky to be able be making this transition at such an opportune time.

Other resources I’ve used included:
Kristy’s Blog, Keepin’ It Kind, here she shares her story of becoming and continuing her veganism.

Cadry’s Open Letter to a New VeganΒ and Misconceptions About Veganism

This Dish is Veg!’sΒ 10 Most Common Vegan Myths

Books to consider:
The World Peace Diet, Food Revolution, and The China Study

Though I’ve been fairly selective about my food choices eating out for a while, tonight I had my first experience dining out as a vegan with friends who hadn’t dealt with it before, and I am so excited to say it went incredibly well! Everyone listened patiently and curiously as I explained my decisions, as well as my non-judgemental attitude towards my friends who do choose to continue eating animal products, and they were all incredibly supportive! The waitress at the restaurant we were dining at even made a point to write out the vegan options and possibly substitutions for all the vegetarian meals on the menu. I was so impressed with how knowledgable and willing to accommodate she was.

I know I will likely encounter many people who feel strongly opposed to my decision and many who will not be as understanding or accommodating in the future, but I truly believe what I am doing is the best choice for myself and for the animals who I see being played over and over in my mind.

I hope you had a great weekend!!

Love,
Happiness Starts Here

Going vegan

Tagged , , , , , ,

Opening night!

Woohoo! Opening night is finally here! We had a great first run of the opera this evening and I’m really proud of all my colleagues’ hard work throughout this rehearsal process.

Pre-rehearsal treated myself to my new favorite vegan Whole Foods panini- The Garden, with grilled veggies, tomato, basil, mustard and vegan cheese on a toasted baguette! Can you say YUM?!

I’ve got work in the morning and a long day to follow but then it’s the weekend!! So I’ll leave you with a little opera selfie from backstage.

20140220-224127.jpg

Love,
Happiness Starts Here

Tagged , , , ,

Thursday Thoughts

Hi there!

Today I’m taking a cue from one of the hilarious and fabulous bloggers I follow, Snack Therapy, with Thursday Thoughts.

I like the idea of just sharing a bunch of random thoughts and ideas that are bouncing around in my brain and possibly a couple links that caught my eye recently. So, here goes!

20140206-151657.jpg

1. Snow. It’s like walking home through sand. Kind of charming and fun when you think about it from the warmth of your bed, snuggled under the covers, and then you take your first step into a full foot of snow and your pants leg is all of a sudden freezing and wet. Yeah, super fun.

2. Speaking of pants leg, pants are so over-rated, amiright? It’s all about the leggings these days. They keep you warm, and they go with everything. Right? Right.

3. Found this online the other day and just…Yes. I mean, who really wants to beat themselves up for NOT performing a 3 hour workout, that might result in injury. Yes to pushing out of my own comfort zone but no to letting working out become my life. Fitspiration gets a makeover

4. The Vampire Diaries. So guilty of watching this one, and yet it is so fun to watch the drama unfold. The most recent plot-twist with Katherine NOT actually dying, what?! I knew she wasn’t going down without a fight.

5. I am totally digging spaghetti squash recently. I kind of avoided it for a while because it seemed kind of bland and not worth the effort, but now having roasted it and eaten half of one with a fork straight from the oven…. Definitely adding that to my shopping cart on the regular.

6. Another blogger moment, but I so NEED to make this, these, and THESE. YUM.

7. This amazing link my mom shared with me, that I literally could not stop laughing at. Bunny Manifesto

8. I was going to have an interview at 8am tomorrow morning but it got rescheduled for Monday afternoon. Mission sleep-in Friday is fully underway.

9. I totally fell on my a$$ in yoga yesterday, trying a new transition between poses when my hand slipped, and now I have the most glorious bruise on my outer thigh that is about the size of a baseball. That’s what I get for trying to get out of Full Wheel too quickly! But the important thing is I kept right on going, and didn’t let falling take me out of my zen yoga me-time.

10. You might recall I watched Vegucated earlier this week. It’s a documentary about 3 people who decide to go vegan for 6 weeks and learn about the food, culture, environmental and health reasons behind why going vegetarian or vegan can do so many wonderful things for the the environment and our bodies. As someone who’s experimented with being vegetarian, pescatarian, carnivore, omnivore and the great oatmeal diet, I’ve found that eating a mostly plant-based diet agrees with me most and it’s the most affordable and easiest when I’m in school. I will definitely not turn up my nose at a beautiful piece of grilled salmon or a sizzling steak, but I don’t feel like I need to eat those things regularly to feel happy. I avoid dairy because I’m lactose-intolerant, but I find tons of tasty ways to make up for it by eating other things I love. Like bread, and cereal, and pizza (with vegan cheese!) and obviously soy ice cream. A girls gotta have her ice cream every once in a while. This is one of my FAVORITES.

What are you thinking about this Thursday?

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Love,
Happiness Starts Here

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Snow day!

Hello and happy Wednesday!

Late last night I was still up after having been drawn into the documentary about veganism, Vegucated, and I was up wayyy past my bedtime. As I was getting ready for bed I noticed I had a couple new emails, and to my extreme surprise and delight, school was cancelled for the entire day! Excuse my Californian side showing, but this is the first time I’ve ever experienced school being closed because of the weather!

So today the only excursion that caused me to leave the house was a trip to my therapist’s office, but it was SO worth it. I have some new and exciting thoughts brewing about my future, but I’m not quite ready to share them yet. I definitely will when the time is right. πŸ™‚

For now, I’m off to enjoy The Devil wears Prada, because…. Meryl Streep. Is. Divine.

Happy snow day!

Love,
Happiness Starts Here

Tagged , , , , , ,

A new week and new finds!

Happy Monday all!

Today totally reminded me why we need to have crappy days (like yesterday) sometimes… So that the next day can be awesome! I woke up early to get in a sweaty yoga class with my man Dave Farmar, and I was SO glad that I did. There’s nothing like completely filling my lungs and sweating in the morning to know my day is going to be fabulous.

I talked with several friends on the way to school and managed to run into another one while I waited for my class to start. Chatting with friends is such a pick-me-up, even if it’s just texting each other silly things. I love the interaction πŸ™‚

I had a really great first voice lesson back from the holiday break, and I feel so good about my progress and how I’m feeling when I sing right now. Yoga is absolutely helping me get more in touch with my breath and my body, so there is no way I’m giving up on my 40 days anytime soon!

I had a sweet lunch at my all-time favorite Cambridge eatery, Life Alive, then had an appointment and did my grocery shopping at the Co-Op over there for the second time. They have such an awesome selection of organic and local products, and the prices are super reasonable! Not to mention their bulk bins are to die for- 7 different kinds of lentils and way too many granolas to choose just one?? I might have found foodie heaven.

With my freshly re-stocked fridge, I made some bomb.com beef and bean (and veggie) chili to warm me up after being out in the cold. Now I have the pleasure of getting to Skype with my mom before diving into some reading and homework.

20140127-183657.jpg

How did you start off your Monday?

Love,
Happiness Starts Here

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,